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Two women named to Canada's supreme court

OTTAWA, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- The number of women judges in Canada's 9-member Supreme Court rose to a precedent-setting four Monday with the swearing-in of two new justices.

Louise Charron, 53, and Rosalie Abella, 58, were named to replace two judges who stepped down in June, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., reported.

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Abella became emotional at the Ottawa ceremony when she described her life after being born in a camp for displaced persons in Germany to Holocaust survivor parents. She replaces Justice Frank Iacobucci, who retired to spend more time with his family.

Meanwhile, Charron joked that while Abella was nominated because of her brilliant legal mind, she herself got the nomination because she fit perfectly into the Supreme Court gown left by Louise Arbour, who was named U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in June.

Both women were selected from the province of Ontario's Court of Appeal.

Wednesday, the high court will begin hearing arguments about the legality of same-sex marriage, in response to a request from the federal government.

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